After getting pretty pissy at Sevilles on our last night and being so incoherent at home that Jon had to work out how to set two alarms on my phone, they went off bright and early at about 4.30am. I staggered out of bed some time later, showered and proceeded to pack more inappropriate clothes into my suitcase. After dumping all our photos from part 1 of the holiday onto my external hard drive we were ready to go.
In the rush I forgot to pack a few vital things including my Aussie mobile! How was I supposed to call ANYONE when I got home? Oh well, after cursing myself for my stupidity for about 5 minutes I realised I couldn't do anything about it and before we knew it we were at the airport.
After check-in and getting our reserved aisle seats we headed to the gates to do a spot of shopping. Jon found the most gorgeous Armani watch that we'd seen in the mall, so we tried that on and generally played around in the camera shop and the book shop. We were both starving so we set out for Maccas for a greasy hangover cure and then it was time for boarding.
All aboard! We dragged my many bags onto the plane and found our seats. I've started the process of moving some of the things that I've bought in various countries home to pack away for my "one day house". We had bags of blankets and door knobs......sixteen pink & silver ones that I HAD to have. Don't ask!
The girl who was supposed to be at the window on our row decided she wanted my pre-booked aisle seat and tried to convince me to swap it. AS IF sweetheart!! So, on the aircraft with the crappy entertainment system it was "all ground staff please leave the aircraft, this aircraft is bound for BRISBANE!!!"
6 hours and 45 minutes later we landed in Singapore and had the chance to stretch our legs and peruse duty free and escape the general hell dimension that is stinky economy. We only had half an hour so before we knew it we were back in our sardine can and sleepy. I estimate I had about 4 hours sleep out of the 15 that we were travelling and was craving a nap by the time we landed.
My friend Dan, who's a trainer and fellow business class crew, was on the flight and came down the back for a visit during the dead of night. We chatted with the crew in the galley to pass the time and I couldn't help but think it would be great to have been a part of their team. Everyone was lovely and they couldn't stop raving about their plans for each of theirs stops. There's nothing worse than whinging, whining crew who pout at the "inconvenience" of having to be away from Dubai for 9 days and separated from their dogs, cats, boy/girlfriends, flatmates, showtime, bedroom, bed, pillows, cousins, aunts, uncles and all those non-specific not-even-worth-mentioning excuses for not wanting to be there. I say if you don't want it, GIVE IT TO SOMEONE WHO DOES!! Australian crew fight like cats and dogs for those trips and they're so bloody hard to get that the mere mention of 'I hate Australian trips because they're sooooo long' causes an involuntary clenching of the fists.
So, we flew into Brissie bright and early on a slightly-chillier-than-Dubai morning and were greeted by the sight of a MASSIVE customs line and all the stupid people who can't read the signs and line up in the wrong lines. They do however provide great entertainment for the rest of us when the tired and fed-up-with-idiots customs officers get cranky at them. Gold. I swear being in airports for the majority of the past two years hasn't made me any smarter or given me a greater ability to read a sign.....some people are just dumb.
Making our way to the Quarantine desks we were asked to open our bags, as we expected. Jon had declared a leather/pleather (not quite sure) elephant with an up-trunk and it turns out that they were suspicious of it's filling. It might have been cork, it might have been sawdust or it might have been HOSPITAL BANDAGES......righteo. Clearly Dubai (referred to as "one of those countries" by the quarantine officer) is a front runner in quality souvenirs. Amused by the possibly bandage filled elephant, we were informed of our "options" - submit it for quarantine procedures, which can take up to 6 weeks and consist of gamma raying the creature. What?!?! You read right, GAMMA RAYS. So, for the pleasure of keeping our cheap $2.00 bandage filled up-trunk elephant we had to pay something like $100 for it to be zapped and then we STILL might not get it back after 6 weeks? Right......we surrendered the creature and then walked though the big double frosted glass doors to be hugged by our waiting families.
My Mum, Dad and brother were there, as well as Jon's Mum, sister, brother and his brother's girlfriend. We all had hugs and there were a few tears (Jon's been away for almost 4 months) and then it was time to sleeeeeep. My brother Patrick turned 18 at the end of September, so as an early present I lugged home a gorgeous sheesha pipe and then dropped it when a very rude man pushed in front of me while I was attempting to get my trolley full of enormous bags into the lift. Luckily it was ok, as I don't think superglue would have done the trick!
My family took me home, and I chattered (somewhat incoherently) during the journey and after handing out some pressies and discovering I HAD packed my mobile, I passed out, waking much later that afternoon. I spoke to Jon on the phone, who could only emit a strange groaning, very jet lagged noise - so I hopped in the car and went to drag him from sleep that would have messed him up for weeks.
I promptly came down with a ripper of a sinus infection (STELLAR timing) and was out of action for a few days. Feeling like an incubus of human plague, I spent that time wallowing in bed and trying to find something in my suitcase to wear on the few outings I had before I felt well enough to go and BUY things to wear.
It was great to be home, catching up with family and some friends and just enjoying early September in Brissie. The weather was lovely, still a little cool at night, but gorgeous during the day. We went to the beach for fish & chip picnics, played on the swings with my cousins, watched telly and just had fun. On my last night we went out for drinks and I was a complete write-off the next day. Lucky the flight out of Brissie is a night time take off, otherwise there's no way I'd have made it. "Not fit to fly" would have been my label.
We went to The Normanby for lunch and drinks with Jon's friend Anton and his girlfriend Jocelyn. All I can say is that they serve a lovely steak (which made a reappearance later that night) and that smirnoff black's are DEADLY. I ran into Madonna, who I'd lunched with the day before and we were joined later by Jon's uni friend Hanka and her fiance Shane. As the "it's such a small world" saying goes, Shane (who's doing his honours in psychology) and I worked out that we were in some of the same undergraduate psych classes back in the days when I WENT to uni. We were reminiscing about a lecturer who made us laugh by imitating the noise a synapse makes when it goes off......until we realised the others thought we were nuts making a funny "put-put" noise in public.
It was heaps of fun to do the mammoth Dubai-Brisbane trip with someone who had a great shoulder to lean on when I was sleepy, wonderful to be home in Australia and even better to spend two weeks with my family and mates.
A big belated happy birthday to my brother Patrick, who's coming of drinking age we celebrated at The Vietnamese in the valley. Dinner was so scrummy I wanted to lick the plate after we'd vacuumed up all the curry and I must say that after scoffing at the idea of a deep fried banana with ice cream and caramel sauce, I wish I'd tried one and next time I'm home I'm going to have one......ALL TO MYSELF.
What a greedy piggy!